Choosing a Baby Name – My 3 Don’t Rules

For me, choosing a baby name has always excited me. I don’t know what it is, I just love the thought of giving my baby one of the most important things in life – a good name. Only trouble is, me and the hubby are both quite determined to pick a name that’s different, but not weird-different, nice-different and not too common. The problem with picking something ‘different’ it seems though, is not just the difficulty in finding something nice, but also something that is accepted by others.

The Telegraph article - 24 March 2013
The Telegraph article – 24 March 2013

As I searched for more baby name sites this morning, I came across this article in The Telegraph this morning which made me think about celebrities and how they always seem to get stick for the seemingly unusual names they want to call their children. I mean, surely it would disappoint the tabloids if William and Kate do give their first born an effortless, expectant name like William?!

Anyway, with this thought, I naturally came up with a set of simple rules I’m setting myself when deciding on a name, and as such, my advice for any other mums-to-be.

Don’t Rule No. 1

Don’t tell anyone the names you like and genuinely have in mind for your baby.

Why? Because as Justine Roberts puts it in the Telegraph article, “There will always be someone who’ll have known a dog with that name, who will hate it.

I completely agree (I knew a dog called Levi before I met my husband, Levi), no matter how many people you tell do like the name, you will always have the small percentage who will be honest and tell you they don’t like it (or at least have a disgusted reaction quickly covered up by a smile and nod) and this can be enough to put you off a name that you have had lined up for months.

Don’t Rule No. 2

Don’t worry about what other people think!

In relation to the first rule – don’t worry too much about what other people think, unless you have picked a name so absurd that you really need a reality check with someone you trust. Names aren’t meant to please everyone, and why would you want a name that everyone likes so much they’ll use it on their next child? Pick a name that you have a connection with, even if others don’t.

Some twenty years ago, my cousin was going to be called Poppy but after family advised against it, she was called Laura instead. Now my newborn niece has just been named ‘Isla Poppy’ and everyone loves it! Go with your gut instinct, the name will grow on everyone even if it doesn’t seem right at first.

Don’t Rule No. 3

Don’t choose a name you’ll regret.

According to the same article, “eight per cent of parents come to regret the name they have chosen for their child.” To ensure you don’t regret your name choice, make sure you think about names early enough in your pregnancy so that when you make the final decision, you’ve hopefully allowed enough time to realise that you’ve liked the same name for months.

Plus, you’ll soon realise that the names you liked one day when your hormones were playing up, don’t seem to be right anymore. Apparently one reason people regret their choice of name because they’ve just gone with a fad at the time. Names like Paris, Mercedes and Chardonnay spring to mind…


Do you have any don’t rules to add to my list? Have you had any experiences of choosing a name that other people have put you off? I’d love to hear your comments below!

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Hannah Stephen

aka Mummy Macaroni
Hannah set up Mummy Macaroni after becoming pregnant for the first time in 2012. With a background in digital marketing, Hannah is now using her knowledge of the online world to write this blog about her best interests - veggie/pescetarian food, parenthood and life in Warwickshire!

3 Comment

  1. I definitely agree that you should not tell people unless you are really, really sure of your choice and know nothing will sway you! I think our only rule was that it had to be a name that suited a baby, child, adult and OAP lol My son is Jack James and my daughter is Evelyn Elizabeth(we call her Evie mainly) – both names seem to suit all ages 😉
    Oh and one thing I would say is make sure that the initials do not spell out an abbreviation of something or that the first name and surname do not sound like something that will i.e Cliff Edge
    Jen x

    1. Yes of course Jenny! Forgot about the name thing, has to be suited for all ages.

      I think your names are lovely, especially Evie when she’s younger, I’ve always thought that name was cute!

      Our last name’s Stephen so Stephen or Stephanie are definitely no no’s for us 🙂

      1. Jenny says: Reply

        Thank you :-)its so hard picking a name! I don’t know what i would do if we had a third – we struggled enough this time lol x

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